Robotics event Robotex International took place for the 18th time in Tallinn from November 30th to December 2nd. Thousands of competitors, students, university students, families and just robotics enthusiast came together to build robots, compete and learn about the most innovative technological developments. This year’s festival boasted with 26 competitions and 2406 competitors (603 of whom from abroad).
Represented were 46 countries including Afghanistan, Cyprus, Colombia, Greece, Japan, India, Mali, USA, China and many others. The youngest competitor was 3 years old and the oldest 68. More than 20 000 people visited Robotex. Most exciting competitions were Entrepreneurial Challenge, Starship Animal Rescue Challenge, Elisa AI Challenge, Taxify Challenge, Girls’ Firefighting Challenge, Tartu University Robots Basketball, TalTech Folkrace Challenge and Insplay challenges to children and youth.
“It’s great to witness that we are only getting more international and that has brought about the growth of quality of Robotex, many competitions have become more entertaining. Real talents were participating and every competition offered some challenges to the competitors and referees. We saw exciting moments, fiery debates, joy of winning and pain of losing. I’m proud that the Estonian robotics community is so solid that we are able to meet the expectations of our visitors and attract influential international media channels and platforms such as BBC, Forbes Latvia, Arctic Startup, Computable, VentureBeat and RiseTech Media,” concludes the CEO of Robotex Ave Laas.
The founder of Starship Ahti Heinla said: “It was great to see so many people being interested in the exciting things that are being done in Estonia and to see them building robots and competing. Startship once again had a challenge at Robotex, which was inspired by the essence of our package robots. It was delightful to witness more competitors advancing in it this year.”
Robotex hosted the world’s biggest startup challenge for kindergarteners and elementary school students which was called “Our first startup”. The challenge was organized by Insplay and its purpose was to spark interest in entrepreneurship and robotics. More than 1100 Estonian children and youth presented their startups to mentors through prototypes they had created.
“Our wish is to inspire children and youth as well as support them on their journey from being technology users toward becoming its creators,” said Insplay’s CEO Andres Sirel. “Children’s startup challenge offers a playful way to learn 21st century skills such as problem solving, team work, critical thinking and creativity. We believe that this challenge playfully provided children with their first practical entrepreneurship experience,” he added.
The 3 day festival in Fair Centre also hosted a technology exhibition in addition to the competitions. Cleveron, Startship, XPRIZE, Insplay and other companies demonstrated there their newest technology products and services. National Institute for Health Development was present with the relational robot Abot, Milrem introduced a self-driving tank, TalTech showcased Iseauto (First Estonian Self-Driving Vehicle ), student satellite and student product development project PinBall, Cleveron introduced their brand new courier robot, Formula Student showcased the student formula, KNM was present with holograms, at Tartu University stand visitors could see and try out ClearBot robots, the fastest camera and the coldest ice-cream.
Simultaneously (29.11-1.12) took place Robotex International Conference “Generation R” at Tallinn Creative Hub which brought together more than 80 speakers and 942 visitors.
The head of Robotex International Conference Angela Allik concluded: “This was the first Robotex International Conference on that scale. Globally renowned opinion leaders shared their knowledge on exciting and relevant topics such as AI, Machine Learning, Data Science, Robots, Cyber Security, Industry 4.0, Logistics, Space Technologies, STEAM Education, Futurism, etc. Additionally took place many talks, panel discussions and workshops on robotics, technology and entrepreneurship. We are planning to grow this initiative even bigger and throughout the year carry out series of events focusing on robotics, cyber security and innovative technologies, which will be summed up at the next Robotex International Conference taking place on Nov 25th -27th 2019.
“The conference brought together an impressive number of top level specialists from around the world,” acknowledged the journalist Eeva Essa being one of the conference moderators this year.
Robotex International 2018 was organized by NPO Robotex in cooperation with partners, including Starship, Cleveron, Elisa Eesti, Startup Estonia, City of Tallinn, EAS, American Embassy, Embassy of the Netherlands, Proekspert, CDP Technologies, Tartu University, Lift99, Workland and Modash.
Competitions, awarding and festival action
Author of photos Tiit Tamme
Author of photos Jörgen Norkroos
Fotod Tiit Tamme
Author of photos Aron Urb
Author of photos Egert Kamenik
Robotex International Communications and Marketing Manager
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